At every Sunday Mass, the people and priest stand together and make a formal confession of their common belief in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, His Son, in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Catholic Church. While spoken in unison, the Creed is a personal profession of faith. Thus, we begin, “I believe”.
The Creed is an important part of the Mass, taking place immediately after the Liturgy of the Word and the Homily. It is our opportunity to proclaim boldly our belief in God’s self-revelation in Scripture and in His saving and redeeming love come to us in the Person of Jesus Christ.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal gives us the following directions:
68.) The Creed is to be sung or said by the Priest together with the people on Sundays and Solemnities. It may be said also at particular celebrations of a more solemn character. If it is sung, it is intoned by the Priest or, if appropriate, by a cantor or by the choir. It is then sung either by everybody together or by the people alternating with the choir. If it is not sung, it is to be recited by everybody together or by two choirs responding one to the other.
The General Instruction also instructs us on which parts of the Mass should be sung:
40.) . . . in the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, preference is to be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those which are to be sung by the Priest or the Deacon or a reader, with the people replying, or by the Priest and people together.
Since we have already established the importance of the Creed in our liturgy, it goes without saying that chanting the Creed together as a worshipping body of believers helps elevate our Profession of Faith to a more powerful witness of the tenets of our Faith. Singing the text helps us stay more focused and doesn’t allow our minds to wander as sometimes happens when we recite something with regularity.
At St. Monica’s, those who have ever attended a Traditional High Mass know that the creed is always chanted, so many of our parishioners are already able to sing the creed. Our pastor desires that all of our worshipping community learn to chant the Creed (Credo) in Latin using the Gregorian melody for Credo III. Our youth and adult choirs have already begun the process of learning to chant the creed, and they will lead us forward in this effort.
With Advent fast upon us, we will be replacing the Source and Summit pew missals that are currently in the pews with the new ones for Year B. We will be putting the old missals out on carts for you to take home. Credo III in Latin can be found on pages 73 and 74 of the 2023 pew missal and on pages 84 and 85 in the 2024 edition. The page numbers may change in future updates to the missal
There will be many opportunities for self-study via the “Sing the Mass” page of our website and other online media. There will also be opportunities for parish-wide learning sessions through in-person group lessons. We hope to begin chanting the Creed as a parish by the first Sunday of Advent, 2023.